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Old 07-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #1
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Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

Just ordered a 17b with most of the options. Reese guesstimates 3000 lbs loaded, including 4 bicycles. Have never towed a trailer and never owned a truck. I need a tow vehicle. The grand caravan is rated at 3500 lbs. We will be 2 adults, 2 kids. Any thoughts? We will be in mountains.

If I have to go to a truck, I am thinking of a Nissan frontier 4 door. Any thoughts?

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Old 07-27-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

What's the Caravan gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).. that will be a factor as well as you'll have to account for the tongue weight, the passengers and any cargo you carrying in the Caravan.. If that's close to being exceeded then you know you're on the edge..

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

Hi gib123, welcome.

Jeff is right that not only do you have to consider the towing capacity of the vehicle, but the GVWR too. Often if you bring the trailer weight up near the max towing weight, you can only put a couple people and not much more to hit the gross capacity.

The Nissa Frontier would do you great, they have lots of fans.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

One thing about the Grand Caravan - I've had 3 of them a '90, '96, and '03, and had to have transmission work on all of them. The only towing I did was a rare haul around town of a utility trailer. If you need the space, the Toyota Sienna with the tow package might be a better choice...
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

Like Jon, I too have owned several Caravans. I liked them alot as people haulers but I was skeptical about pulling a 17b with one, even the Grands. That's why we moved to a Honda Pilot which still can hold 8 people [or 4 with lots of gear] & still has a 4500 lbs towing capacity in the 4WD version. I am very pleased with how our Pilot handles with the 17b and glad we made that decision. While we haven't done 4 bikes, we have done a tandem kayak and 2 bikes plus lots of gear. Naturally, mileage suffers when loaded and towing. Hope that's helpful.


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Old 07-28-2011, 01:38 AM   #6
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

We've towed our '09 17A about 30,000 km, mostly on the Trans-Canada, the Klondike Highway, and the Alaska Highway with our '09 Grand Caravan, and had no problem; it sails through mountain passes, keeps up to speed easily, and doesn't breathe hard on the Coquihalla. Some factors to note: it has the trailer package, which for '09 meant a 4.0 litre 24-valve V-6, a heavier radiator, a transmission oil cooler, an engine oil cooler, a heavy alternator, and a 6-speed transmission which has given us not a hint of trouble. We carry a lot of weight, including a mobility scooter, an access ramp, and a lot of small items needed to facilitate my wife's getting around easily, not to mention a fairly complete grocery stock. There are only the two of us, however. The car's rated towing capacity is 3500 pounds; I've forgotten the GVWR. bit any dealership would know (it's in the owners' manual).

I believe the 17B is about two hundred pounds heavier than the A, but you wouldn't be hauling mobility equipment.

I should mention that we use a weight-distributing hitch; Reace was most insistent that we had to have this, with a front-drive vehicle. The rig handles like one vehicle, even in sudden evasive action (we had some turkey pass us o the shoulder on the right just as we were merging from 407 to 427 in Toronto) and in strong cross winds (we followed a stick-built along the Trans-Canada in south-western Saskatchewan which was dragging its Jeep SUV tow vehicle all over the highway every time a semi overtook it).

You might want to give it some thought before ruling out the Dodge, especially since the new 6-speed transmission is not at all like the old T-41 based 4-speed.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

Hi: All...Can't comment about towing a 17'er, but I can about the Nissan Frontier 4dr. Crew Cab pickup... Tow Cap. 6100lbs.!!! WOW!!! 3 adults 95* heat... fulltime A/C + a load of stuff for a week of camping. Mostly InterState route to the Finger Lakes in N.Y.
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I'm happy with that kind of mileage tho Alf
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

Alf, you probably filled up on gas containing 10% or worse ethanol when over here in the US... There are some states where you only can get ethanol contaminated gas! I call it contaminated because my 4Runner gets much better mileage when driving with ethanol free gas!

I second the idea of a Nissan Frontier! Those are sweet trucks, and I think I even would prefer the Nissan over the new Toyota Tacoma even though I am a Toyota driver. My next vehicle towing my Cafe Egg (Escape 17'B) would be probably a truck with crew cab, as I would love to have the bed equipped with a camper shell for extra storage of bulky camping items! If no bulky scooter stuff is to be carried around, and accessibility of the truck is no issue, I would definitely go via truck instead of caravan! Gives some nice buffer for towing weight!
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: Towing a 17b with grand caravan?

I towed a 2006 Casita 17 for about 25000 miles with my 3.8 L Grand Caravan. Never had a problem. I traded it last summer (94000 miles) for a Nissan Frontier because I wanted to get the 5th wheel. I had the WD hitch and sway bar. The only hill I ever had to slow down for was I64 heading east coming out of WVa. Long and steep. I could probably have kept speed up, but I like to keep RPM's under 3000. That said, I am loving my Frontier.


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